Advice for LBGT travelers
Given the Faroe Islands’ remoteness, one might expect the Faroese to be less aware of LGBT issues than their Nordic neighbors. However, the islands are home to a powerful LGBT movement that has driven a sea of change in attitudes towards homosexuality and LGBT issues in recent years. Following years of public activism, laws were introduced in 2006 which banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Since that time, life has vastly improved for LGBT citizens in the Faroe Islands.
In April, 2016 – on a vote of 19-14 – the Faroe Islands Parliament approved the adoption of Denmark’s same-sex matrimonial laws. The only difference compared to the Danish law is that the Faroese church is not obliged to take part in same-sex wedding unless they choose to themselves. Same-sex marriages are expected to come into effect in the Faroe Islands in 2017.
Public support for the local LGBT movement is most evident at Faroe Pride which always takes place on 27 July, the day before the national holiday Ólavsøka. Around 10% of the population take part in the annual parade. The parade is a lively community-building event and is followed by a free concert featuring the biggest names in music from the Faroe Islands.
LGBT people are welcome to enjoy Tórshavn´s often lively nightlife, although modesty in displaying physical affection is recommended for both LGBT and straight visitors – especially outside of Tórshavn. While there are no explicitly designated gay or lesbian bars or nightclubs in the Faroe Islands, the hip and trendy nightclub bar Sirkus Føroyar is openly gay-friendly and sometimes hosts LGBT events. Its slightly more posh neighbor, Hvonn, is also a popular choice among LGBT people and other trendy locals.
If you would like to learn more about LGBT life in the Faroe Islands or what current events are on, please contact the national LGBT organization, LGBT Føroyar, directly at [email protected] or visit their website or their Facebook page.